TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It was one of the largest homecomings the Welcome Home Soldiers Organization has seen.
Monday morning, Texas Army National Guard soldiers from the National Guard's 36th Infantry Division were greeted by loved ones. For the first time in a year, the soldiers were reunited with family, celebrating a mission accomplished with every single soldier returning safely.
"To be able to say that you brought everybody back home from combat is a blessing and an absolutely amazing thing," said Staff Sgt. Charles Weissenborn.
"It was God's grace that we brought everybody home alive," said Major Sam Speedy.
Speedy says they all served with honor and dignity.
"This mission was detention operations," he said. "Providing the proper custody care and control for detained individuals in Afghanistan."
It is certainly a sacrifice. Samantha San Miguel has lost years with her little girl.
"She's changed so much every deployment I do so it's a great feeling to be home again and be with her," said Miguel.
For Rosharon Adams and her family, this is the longest they have been separated.
"Talking and praying for each other, I think that's what brought us through all of this," said Wendy Taylor.
"I'm like so happy just ready to go home," said Rosharon Adams.
Among those welcoming the hometown heroes was Congressman Louie Gohmert who says it is a privilege and a joy.
"There are all kinds of problems in this country and world but when you see the brave wonderful troops, men and women serving in uniform, it's so uplifting," he said. "It makes you want to fight for the country even harder."
We are told all of the soldiers will be home for at least 13 months to get some much-needed time with loved ones.